Want Dividends? Look Overseas.
This month's Kiplinger's contains an article that's right up my alley, foreign stocks that pay dividends (I love both).
Want Dividends? Look Overseas
The article recommends five dividend paying stocks in it, one of which is a current member of my personal portfolio...Unilever (UL).
The article's author likes the how consistently UL has increased its dividend over the years (it is currently yielding 4.3%). It provides the following quote on the company from someone named Barry Arnold, who is the director of something that I have never heard of before...the Primary Trend fund: "Over the next two years we see the company bumping up its dividend to the $1.50 range." That is a 30% increase over where its dividend currently sits and it would represent a fat yield of around 5.4% using today's stock price.
The other stocks that the article mentions include Allianz (AZ) 4.3%, Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) 4.4%, Telefonica (TEF) 4.4%, and BP (BP - duh) 6.6%.
Here's my quick thoughts on this group.
- I've been scared of Allianz ever since my brother consulted for them years ago and said that along with Sprint, AZ was one of the worst run organizations that he has ever come in contact with. I like the fact that the company owns PIMCO, which is an amazing franchise, but PIMCO only accounts for 12% of its profits.
- The fact that Telefonica is headquartered in Spain, possibly the worst economy in the western world, scares the heck out of me. I realize that a lot of its business and growth come from places outside of its home country, such as Latin America, but to me Vodafone (VOD) which I mentioned favorably yesterday has more upside and a better yield.
- I like the fact that BP has smaller refining operations that many of the other major integrated oil companies have. In the past refining was often looked at a plus because it helped to smooth out earnings when the price of oil fell, but to me refining has completely devolved into a crappy business...possibly forever. Any time the government of the country that consumes the most of your product is doing anything that it can to discourage consumers from using it, like Uncle Sam is going with gasoline, you are going to face some massive headwinds. Look at what the government's fight against smoking has done to the tobacco companies. The only reason that they still exist is the fact that their product is so addictive, there is huge barriers to entry, and there is some brand recognition that makes people loyal to certain brands like Marlboro.
Gasoline is about as generic a commodity as it gets. Sure, some companies have television commercials touting the additives that they put in their gasoline and how their gas is so much better than their competitions, but does anyone really care where they buy their gas? Very few people do.
The government keeps upping its fuel economy standards and electric vehicles will arrive in the not so distant future. Plus, while no refineries have been built in the United States in ages, there is tons of refining capacity inside and more importantly outside the right now. Enough bashing of refineries already, you get the point. The fact that BP has less exposure to the sector than many other oil majors is a plus.
That's all the time that I have for now. Anyhow, check out the article. It's a quick, good read.